Huckleberries grow plentifully along the north coast of California. The word huckleberry is a corruption of the word whortleberry, though to some it might seem an improvement. The huckleberry is a relative of the blueberry and known by various other amusing monnikers including: farkleberry, wonderberry, hurtleberry, sparkleberry, and my personal favorite, dangleberry.
Renowned pie-lover Henry David Thoreau has been known to praise the huckleberry as among the finest fruits of the wild. Here’s a nice way to enjoy its sharp-sweet intensity for breakfast.
Huckleberry Ricotta Pancakes
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup mascarpone
4 eggs, separated yolks and whites
2 cups ricotta cheese
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen (defrosted) whole huckleberries
1-1/2 cups whole milk
Whisk the yolks together. Combine yolks, mascarpone and ricotta.
Separately, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture to yolk mixture and mix until just combined.
Add in the milk gently; don’t over mix. Set aside.
Beat the egg whites until you achieve soft peaks.
Fold the whites into the batter. Remember, if you want fluffy pancakes be gentle. Fold in the huckleberries just at the last minute.
Heat up a griddle or large pan, melt a bit of butter on it and carefully ladle 1 cup per cake; Don’t spread the batter out with a spatula, just pour.
Flip the pancakes after small bubbles appear and the edges start to dry (about 3 minutes).
Flip and cook for 3 minutes on the other side.
Serve with organic maple syrup and a light dusting of powdered sugar (optional). Makes about 15 pancakes.